Camping for Every Age

Each age has its beauty and potential problems but it is never too early or too late to start camping. Here are some points that should ease your fears and help you avoid the pitfalls.

Babies and little kids:

  • The truth is you can bring your nursing baby camping with added benefits: no extra food preparation required (for now).
  • If you are scared that your crying baby will keep the whole campground awake at night, make sure to meet your closest neighbours and offer earplugs. It is most likely that they will support your efforts of exposing your baby to nature.
  • If you are afraid that your baby/toddler will put something inappropriate in the mouth just bring a playpen and let him/her sit there (a clean place) instead on the ground (presumably a dirty place).
  • To make the experience less scary for little kids have a dry run at home. Pitch the tent in the backyard and let them sleep in their sleeping bags. So much excitement!
  • Remember to bring a favourite blanket or teddy, but do not pack-up the whole house.

School kids:

  • Kids like to eat. Make eating frequent with plenty of healthy snacks. This way they will complain less.
  • Know their limitations. Break the activities into manageable portions. Do not plan a full-day trip on a canoe or a 6-hour hike. They will not be happy campers and they will let you know again and again that they want to GO HOME! Slow down and let them have it their own way: take time looking at rocks and investigating an ant-hill.
  • Prepare yourself to keep them occupied. Games, songs, crafts, various sports and activities keep them busy and interested. Forget that you just wanted to sit around the campfire and relax. Your kids will have none of that.

Teenagers:

  • The best insurance policy against constant whining and complaining is bringing a friend along.
  • If they absolutely cannot live without their electronics and staying connected (which is most teens) you will have to make a compromise. Remember that only some parks offer free Wi-Fi, so it may cost you a lot to use your own hot spot. Therefore prepare them for going off-line for most of the time. Many parks do not even have a cell-phone connectivity so you may allow occasional texting, but not calling their friends. And remember that they will insist on using electronics even if you do not have an electrical hook-up. This means that you will need a way to charge your electronics even when you go off-the-grid such as a solar charger.